BJP denied freedom to 75 lakh Kashmiris: Chidambaram
New Delhi, Dec 8:
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday hit out at the Centre over the
Kashmir issue and spiraling onion prices and accused the BJP of targeting
political rivals and said he will neither buckle or fall under pressure nor
join the ruling BJP.
He said: “As we
speak now, freedom is denied to 75 lakh people in the Kashmir valley,” adding,
if freedom of one person was denied, it meant denying it for all the people.
be separated, yours is mine and mine is yours and if I do not protect your
freedom, you cannot protect mine,” he said on his arrival here from Delhi.
After being in
Tihar jail and in the custody of CBI and the Enforcement Directorate for 106
days, he was released on December 4 following grant of bail by the Supreme
Court in a money laundering case filed by the ED.
After he was
given a rousing welcome by Congress workers, Chidambaram told reporters: “In
this country, a right wing, retrograde (government) is moving towards a fascist
type of government that usurped freedom…we have to be very vigilant.” The
country will become truly independent only when the people in the rest of the
nation showed south India’s vigil and in particular Tamil Nadu’s caution in
opposing the BJP, he claimed.
On his case, he
said he will not talk about it, adding, “Why I was imprisoned? They (the
Centre) thought of wrecking my mental strength and it will not happen any day.
If anybody had thought that I will fall, I will never fall as the Congress
party and the Indian people’s thirst for freedom are behind me…it is going to
be a fight continuously,” he said.
accused the government of trying to wreck his physical health, adding they
succeeded for about 10 days.
After the court’s
intervention and examination by doctors, “today (my) health has more or less
improved fully,” he said.
Asked about Union
Minister Prakash Javadekar’s charge that he has violated his bail conditions,
he said: “Prakash Javadekar does not know about the (Supreme Court) court’s
verdict and he also does not about what I had spoken.” Later, addressing a
public meeting at the Congress party’s State headquarters here he said: “This
morning, the price of onion in Delhi was Rs 200 a kilo, while a farmer in
Maharashtra producing it gets Rs seven a kg for it. We should talk only about
that.” He alleged that BJP’s objective was to “strangulate the voice of
freedom” and the ruling party had been working towards it by targeting rivals
by filing cases against them.
should not write, television channels should not debate,” he said adding the
ruling party’s goal was also to not allow “political leaders” (rivals) to
implementation of its agenda, the ruling party at the Centre was bent on
“strangulating” their voices, he alleged.
Citing the recent
income tax raids against former Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara
and another leader, he said Congress MP K C Ramamurthy subsequently joined the
C M Ramesh and Y S Chowdary, who were the “left and right hands” of party chief
Chandrababu Naidu had earlier this year joined the saffron party.
“Both of them
have cases against them and both are today in the BJP,” he said.
Chidambaram likened the BJP to river Ganga, a dip in which is believed to
cleanse devotees of their sins.
“The BJP is River
Ganga and all sins will vanish after taking a bath in it. I will never take a
bath in that Ganga (the BJP).
I will bow before
justice and judge, I will never bend before injustice,” he said, apparently
indicating that he will not buckle under pressure and join the BJP.
Making light of
his incarceration, he said “spending 106 days in jail” was nothing big when
compared to the incarceration of leaders of the freedom movement, including
Jawaharlal Nehru. “I happily accept my imprisonment,” he said.
Quoting a popular
verse of nationalist poet Subramania Bharathi, he said the bard may have sung
it “bearing Modi in mind.” The part of the verse, which Chidambaram emphasised
can roughly be translated as, “I will not go down (fall) like some amusing
people…”, which is seen as directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his
“Till such time
you (people) are there, the Congress party, which won us freedom, is there.
Till the memory of freedom fighters like Gandhiji, Nehru, Tilak, Sardar Patel,
Kamaraj, V O Chidambaram Pillai lingers…you thought that I will fall? No,
never,” he said.